Tundral (Heart)

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Tundral

The heart does
take prisoners; hers
housed exiles,
dissidents, a gulag
for thoughts
that once dared speak
their minds; also a lone
scrub pine, leashed
to mewling wind at neck,
at crown, and at its base,
stiff ground.

Roots,
made clumsy by
permafrost, sent still
pale tendrils down,
plaintive missives, towards
warmth, that molten
core so very far below,
while above,
the exiles fumed
as best they could.

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The above, kind of a draft still, is posted (belated;u) for the writing blog, With Real Toads – challenge by Hannah Goselin to write from voice of Tundra.  I don’t think this quite complies but there it is. 
Check out With Real Toads, and also my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!
Also check out a just-started blog by my very dear friend, Theo Martin – http://knaveslodge.wordpress.com – for advice and commentary on cooking and country life. 
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15 Comments on “Tundral (Heart)”

  1. Claudia Says:

    i’ve read quite a bit about the tundra and really like how you describe this landscape…esp. loved the roots made clumsy by permafrost and sending pale tendrils down towards warmth..


  2. I like it….very earthy writing and this image:

    “sent still
    pale tendrils down,
    plaintive missives, towards
    warmth, that molten
    core so very far below,”

    Love this!

    Great work…thank you for writing to the challenge!


  3. A “gulag” and “Siberian” make sense…. But I’m a little lost. A lost heart, unable to speak without consequences, and a pine tree with wildly described roots? Please forgive me. It’s 2 am and I was having trouble sleeping. I signed my divorce papers yesterday after 27 years of marriage and a year separation. And unfortunately earlier this year I was forced to dis-inherit a grown daughter who has some mental issues. That is a whole ball of wax that has absolutely discombobulated me. Not a good year for me Miss Manic, so I assume it is my inability to capture whatever it is you are writing about in this poem due to a really compromised state of mind. Over the last couple of years I have become most enchanted with your absolute darling poetry. You simply do not have a bigger fan than me. Every time I click a link to your blog I know that I will find some fascinating piece of wholesome, fun-loving joy waiting for me. And you have never failed to bring a smile to my life. So in my present quandary, and perhaps my sleepy stupor, I must ask what on earth are you talking about in this poem?

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi John! I’m so sorry about your troubles – it sounds like a lot of heartbreak.

      I don’t think the poem is very good. The idea of it is a heart that has grown frozen, tundral, exiling all of its thoughts that want to speak out, finding sustenance only in a passionate core. Obviously, it doesn’t come across if you didn’t get it! k.


      • Quite possibly my fault…. perhaps a bit fragile right now. Sometimes in life we just need things to be simple, I think, a recoil maybe, as a splash of cold spring water on the face doesn’t always relate to “frozen tendrils of tears…” as well as “Wow! Now that is freaking cold!” Sometimes it can only be digested in the heat of the moment and at the current moment my very own moment is struggling perhaps a bit! But now that you’ve helped me along it makes perfect sense…..

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Sorry it is such a hard time. k.

  4. janehewey Says:

    stiff ground. Roots made clumsy by permafrost, sent still pale tendrils down.
    -one of my favorite parts and seems to be the visual heart of this poem… especially after meeting the scrub pine, leashed
    I love your terminology: exile, dissidents, gulag!!! Excellent poem- it has inspired me to check out With Real Toads. 🙂

  5. brian miller Says:

    i love this k…sorry i missed it…came back looking for the lost tritina…smiles….that first half is so cool describing the heart and her exiles in the gulag…..really very good….then the inclusion of the pine…the roots…makes for a really cool progression…

  6. Susan Says:

    “The heart does
    take prisoners; hers
    housed exiles,
    dissidents, a gulag
    for thoughts
    that once dared speak
    their minds . . .”

    I saw the heart as of the tundra itself, it certainly took me. If you see it that way, you too may like it as much as I do. Quite lovely/horrible to be in love with a semi-hostile environment!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Susan – well, I tried to make the metaphor work for Tundra. I think I should really rename poem Siberian – as it deals more with issues of exile but thanks for your thoughtful reading. k.


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